The New York Times to take steps towards building better workplace culture, diversity and inclusion

In a report to its employees in February 2021, The Times committed to increasing the percentage of Blacks and Latinos in leadership roles from 9 percent now to 13.5 percent within five years.

The Associated Press February 26, 2021 15:30:49 IST
The New York Times to take steps towards building better workplace culture, diversity and inclusion

File picture: This 22 June, 2019, file photo shows the exterior of the New York Times building in New York. Photo via The Associated Press/Julio Cortez

The New York Times says it needs a culture change to become a better place to work, particularly for people of colour.

The newspaper told its employees in a report on 24 February that it will take steps to be more inclusive and welcoming, saying its study of the workplace culture represents a “call to action.”

Like many news organizations, the Times looked inward following a national reckoning on race triggered by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police last spring. Many employees were angered by a Times opinion piece by Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton headlined “Send in the Troops” as an option to deal with racial unrest.

More recently, veteran Times science correspondent Donald McNeil Jr. left the paper after it was reported he used a racial slur while talking at a Times-sponsored trip to Peru for students in 2019.

The Times, in its report, committed to increasing the percentage of Blacks and Latinos in leadership roles from 9 percent now to 13.5 percent within five years. Dean Baquet, the Times’ executive editor since 2014, is Black.

The report also said that a workplace culture that celebrates individual achievement and often relies on “unwritten rules” for advancement can be uncomfortable for many, but particularly people of colour.

“What came through was the consistency of experiences,” said Carolyn Ryan, deputy managing editor and one of three authors of the report. “It was our culture, this kind of ‘sink or swim’ ethos.”

Often, actually leading people is considered a secondary part of a Times’ manager’s role, the report said. Several steps were outlined to make expectations clearer, keep lines of communication open and set pathways for advancement.

A survey of employees didn’t just uncover bad news; 95 percent of Times employees said they felt pride in working at the paper, and most have had positive experiences.

It also found 48 percent of new hires at the Times last year were people of colour, the newspaper said. The overall percentage of non-white employees has increased from 27 percent in 2015 to 34 percent now. A majority of staff members, and leaders, are women.

But the report found that while the Times was building a more diverse staff, it concentrated less on fostering an inclusive culture.

Putting the plan in place will require the most substantial investment the Times has ever made in terms of time, money and energy, publisher AG Sulzberger, CEO Meredith Kopit Levien and Baquet wrote in an introduction to the report.

“We believe that the changes in this plan will make our journalism, our business and our company stronger,” they wrote. “We also believe it will make The Times a better place to work, for all of us.”

Updated Date:

also read

Portugal reopens museums, cafe terraces two months after tightening COVID-19 curbs; concert halls likely to open in May
World

Portugal reopens museums, cafe terraces two months after tightening COVID-19 curbs; concert halls likely to open in May

Only four people will be able to sit together at a table on cafe terraces and group training sessions at gyms and sports venues remain banned.

In New York, some Orthodox Jews contemplate leaving their community amid lockdown, being isolated from their families
World

In New York, some Orthodox Jews contemplate leaving their community amid lockdown, being isolated from their families

Many of these formerly Orthodox Jews are contacting organisations that help "leavers" to adapt to life in wider society.

Nigeria's social satirist Julius Agbaje uses a skilled, confrontational style to critique brutality, hypocrisy
World

Nigeria's social satirist Julius Agbaje uses a skilled, confrontational style to critique brutality, hypocrisy

In Nigeria, there is an abundance of artists who criticise the political system, but many use only abstract images, few do so in such a confrontational way.